Massive Chalice

What do you do when a giant talking chalice entrusts you with the fate of the world you live in? You start matchmaking royalty… so that they can save the world, obviously.

After you send them into battle to build their experience, of course. Honestly, Massive Chalice is a nuanced game with a whole lot of elements that make it kinda hard to sum up in a short review, but if you decide to delve into this strategy game laced with witty banter, you’ll find yourself in charge of the fate of a kingdom. It’s part turn-based strategy, ‘keep your heroes alive so that they might eventually rule’ type stuff, but it’s also part kingdom management sim. Will you put your best, most experienced hero in a leadership role, thus allowing them to use their experience but retiring them forever? If you choose to make them a ruler, what kind of partner will you give them to rule alongside them? Will that partner be queer, thus limiting the options for lineage, but not closing it off entirely? The answer, if you’re me, is yes. I accidentally made this game all about putting queer ruling couples in charge and allowing them to adopt children to carry on their legacy. You will get attached to your characters and you will have to make some big choices about their role in your overall story, but I for one had a lot of fun making life-changing decisions that didn’t affect my real life. It was oddly both stressful and cathartic.

You should play this if…

You like either turn-based strategies or simulation games, or you’re a fan of Double Fine’s other works. It’s filled with the same quirkiness and humour, and even as someone who isn’t particularly into turn-based games, I had a good time.

Released: June 2015
Played: February 2019
Read the QRM entry for this game →

Note: I decided to try something different with Massive Chalice, and it turned out to be a good game to experiment with. I’m testing the idea of releasing videos alongside these QGJ entries, so that you can see some of the gameplay and experience my real-time reactions, which are often… quite animated. It’s a rough first try, so bear with me, but if people like it, it might be the start of something cool for the future! You can view the video of me doing that here!